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P02.158. Tai Chi community program is effective in reducing elderly fall-related hospital utilization: a prospective observational study

Purpose

Overseas studies and reviews showed that about 30% of elderly suffer from falls every year and approximately one fall in ten resulted in fractures. Fall is a major cause of hospitalization in Hong Kong, ranking the fifth in terms of total bed days of all public acute hospitals. Tai Chi (TC) is a Chinese martial art form for centuries and seems to be an effective intervention to prevent falls through improving functional balance and physical response.

Methods

A prospective observational study of 3,222 community-dwelling elderly aged 60 or above was conducted to assess the effect of TC in reducing injurious falls incidence. Participants were community-dwelling elderly aged 60 or above with “Timed Up-and-Go” test (TUGT) less than or equal to 20 seconds. An hour simplified TC session led by recognized TC coaches was performed twice a week in a period of four weeks. Participants were encouraged to practice TC after training. Injurious fall incidents were retrieved and compared from a medical records database 12 months before and after TC training between 2 strata: continue (n=1,269) vs cease (n=1,360) TC in 12 months post training.

Results

The injurious fall rate dropped from 2.21% (pre) to 1.34% (post) in the continuing TC group while the fall rate increased from 2.06% (pre) to 3.46% (post) in the non-continuing TC group. The percentage of hospitalization due to fall-related injuries was 0.39% and 1.03% in the continuing and non-continuing TC groups, respectively.

Conclusion

Study results demonstrate that TC has a potential preventive effect on injurious falls and hospital utilization.

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Correspondence to E Ziea.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ziea, E. P02.158. Tai Chi community program is effective in reducing elderly fall-related hospital utilization: a prospective observational study. BMC Complement Altern Med 12, P214 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-P214

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Keywords

  • Prospective Observational Study
  • Fall Rate
  • Post Training
  • Hospital Utilization
  • Functional Balance